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Sin City Hockey Is Coming

The National Hockey League has announced that a new expansion team, a team from Las Vegas, will begin playing as the 31st team in the upcoming 2017-2018 season. This is a historical moment not only for the game of hockey, but the city of Las Vegas itself.

It all began in an outdoor game planned by the league on a warm September night in Las Vegas in 1991. It was the NHL’s 3rd outdoor game, which starred the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings. The game and its setting captured the eyes of many. 13,000 people attended this game within the make-shift arena, which was played on top of Caesar’s Palace parking lot–a parking lot I kid you not–and were exposed to some of the greatest players to play the game. Hall of Famers such as the “Great One”, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, and Doug Weight were on the ice entertaining they way you should in Vegas–with pure excitement.

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The arena built on top of Caesar’s Palace parking lot for the 1991 outdoor game

Despite the mishaps that had occurred in the game such as the ice melting rapidly due to the heat of the Nevada desert and the unbearable weather for the players, it still left a positive mark for the people of Las Vegas.

Within the past 112 years of its existence,  Las Vegas–the entertainment capital–surprisingly has not had a professional sports team to call their own. Sure they were hosts to pre-season games for the NHL and the NBA. They also did have minor-league hockey with the Las Vegas Wranglers, but nothing within the professional leagues. And in addition, they were the hosts of the NHL Awards show held at the end of every Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Las Vegas Wranglers playing at the Orleans Arena

0006592351-1040x572.jpgSidney Crosby at the 2014 NHL Awards show

However as of June 22,2016, the NHL officially approves the expansion of a Las Vegas team. After months and months of convincing the league by ticket drives (which sold out tickets), the building of the new T-Mobile Arena at the heart of the Vegas Strip, and mass support from the community; Vegas finally has their first professional sports team.

cut-1.jpgTeam Owner, Bill Foley, and NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, on the announcement day

But none of this would not have been possible by billionaire, Bill Foley–the team owner. Foley and many other people of the Vegas community worked and petitioned for this to happen as they launched the Vegas Wants Hockey movement. This movement, as mentioned before, started ticket drives and community outreach to bring a team to Vegas.

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The announcement of the Vegas Golden Knights on November 22, 2016

On November 22, 2016, five months after announcing the expansion, the new team’s identity and brand comes into fruition as they officially become the Vegas Golden Knights This historical celebration was held in front of their future home, T-Mobile Arena, which gathered many of the Las Vegas community and, marked the beginning of a bright future for hockey in the desert.

And that future also included the announcement UNLV’s men’s ice hockey team being approved to play Division 1 Hockey in the NCAA. Which was announced 7 days after the Golden Knights’ announcement. A bright future for hockey indeed…

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SOURCES:

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/las-vegas-nhl-expansion-team-approved-will-begin-play-in-2017-18/

https://www.nhl.com/goldenknights/news/oral-history-of-1991-nhl-outdoor-game-in-las-vegas/c-283792482

https://www.nhl.com/goldenknights/news/introducing-the-vegas-golden-knights—newest-nhl-franchise/c-283997132

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/hockey/2016/11/29/acha-approves-unlv-mens-hockey-division-1/94615924/

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The Google Advertising Boycott: MSM vs. YouTube Round II

Over the past couple of weeks, Google has been under fire by scandal due to advertisements being placed on controversial videos on YouTube. Companies such as Coca-Cola, AT&T, and Verizon all pulled their ads off the site and have initiated a boycott until Google fixes this issue. This was a cause for concern for many of these companies as the ads they paid for, were appearing on videos pertaining to racism and jihadi terrorist groups such as ISIS.

This was brought to attention in the United Kingdom, but more specifically by The Times on March 17, 2017, in an article titled “Taxpayers are funding extremism”. However, the Wall Street Journal made this much more controversial when they released their own report on the subject on March 24, 2017. Their article consequently caused major concern for these companies as they contacted these companies and did their own research on ad placement on the videos. Because of this, these companies pulled their ads off the site and Google has taken numerous steps to reassure this never happens again.

Why is this proving to be something more than a couple of ads on some controversial videos? Why are many content creator on YouTube concerned and feel this is an attack by MSM–mainstream media–upon the site?

This ultimately began when the Wall Street Journal spearheaded the mainstream media attack on YouTube’s most subscribed content creator Felix Kjellberg, better known as Pewdiepie. They wrote an article that overall tried to justify that Felix promotes anti-semitism in many of his videos. Yet the issue with these claims is that they were taken out of context of the jokes he was portraying in the videos talked about. Because of their article, Felix was dropped by Disney, his content group, and lost his YouTube Red show, Scare Pewdiepie II. This ultimately had majority of the mainstream media question why YouTube would promote this content, or why he is the biggest content creator on the site.

Here we are, a couple of months later and YouTube is facing a huge scandal–which is once again sparked by the Wall Street Journal. But why is YouTube facing these issues now, and not when it was first developed? The answer, the internet being the biggest source of news and media in our society. Not only that, YouTube and millions of their content creators have influence over large populations–something mainstream media is losing these days.

With the boycott still ongoing, many content creators have been receiving less and less advertising revenue on their videos because of the lack of advertisements circulating around YouTube. So not only is this boycott affecting Google, but it is affecting the millions of creators on the site; some of whom, make a living off of YouTube and rely on their paychecks for their content.

Now there have been speculations that the companies leading the boycott are using this to their advantage. According to Business Insider, they reportedly talked to more than a dozen executives, all of whom had varying opinions behind the strike. Companies found an opportune moment to take on the online giant, many were hoping for it worsen and thus have leverage for negotiations, and to help explain how online ads actually work.

Do you believe this is a deliberate attack on YouTube, and continuing the old media versus new media debate? Is it worth it to endanger the livelihoods of many people on YouTube? Personally, I feel this about influence and more pertaining to freedom of speech on the internet, something much bigger.

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-google-idUSKBN16S0TW

https://www.wsj.com/articles/googles-youtube-has-continued-showing-brands-ads-with-racist-and-other-objectionable-videos-1490380551

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/taxpayers-fund-extremism-csdn0npsf

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-advertisers-are-pulling-spend-from-youtube-2017-3

https://www.wsj.com/articles/disney-severs-ties-with-youtube-star-pewdiepie-after-anti-semitic-posts-1487034533

http://fortune.com/2015/06/01/print-readership-paywalls/

http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/

Nintendo Ready To “Switch” It Up

The gaming industry was thrown into complete surprise after the reveal of the Nintendo Switch. Prior to the official announcement of the Switch in October 20, 2016, the console was announced to be in development since March 2015 and was formally dubbed as the Nintendo “NX”. At the time, this was a shocking announcement for Nintendo to make as it was done only two and a half years after the launch of their previous console, the Wii U. However, the Wii U was notably infamous amongst the gaming industry due to its low sales numbers, unorthodox design, and lack of games from third party developers in its lifespan. So indeed, Nintendo was quick on developing a true and definitive next generation console.

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The Infamous Nintendo Wii U

So what is the Nintendo Switch? Well it is a console that emphasizes on being both a mobile console, and a home console. Or simply put it, a hybrid device between home and mobile usage. In the reveal trailer, the console is shown in various situations that highlights the console’s potential. From sitting on your couch and playing on the television, to playing in the middle of your flight, at a basketball court, or an outdoor party, the Switch’s capabilities are exemplified in to good use.

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The Switch In Home Console Form

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The Switch In Mobile Form

The tablet is the actual console of the Nintendo Switch. It utilizes a set of accessories that make the transition to at home gaming and gaming on-the-go.

Starting off with on-the-go gaming, the console can be utilized in two forms: one that has the two Joy-Con Controllers connected to the tablet (as shown above), and one that has the two controllers detached from the tablet. With the Joy-Cons detached, you can play with them alone, similarly like the Wii; or actually allow for a second player to use one of the controllers which enables the ability of multiplayer on-the-go.

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The “Wii” Version Of The Switch

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Multiplayer With The Joy-Con Controllers

For at-home gaming, the Switch is simply placed onto a dock that is connected to a television while the Joy-Cons are attached to a grip, simply called the Joy-Con Grip, which forms a typical at-home controller. Even with the uniqueness of the Joy-Cons, they also offer the Pro Controller which is their official version of a typical at-home controller but, emphasizes on the competitive nature of gaming.

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The Switch Dock & Joy-Con Grip Controller

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The Switch Pro Controller

Games-wise, the Nintendo Switch has a lackluster amount of launch-titles available–twelve– compared to, surprisingly, the Wii U’s twenty-three launch titles. However, one launch title might just be worth getting the console at launch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is an open-world game that follows one of Nintendo’s most beloved characters on a new adventure, Link. There are other anticipated games that are going to be released later on such as Splatoon 2, Bethesda’s Skyrim Remastered, and the next Mario installment, Super Mario Odyssey.

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Nintendo’s 9th generation console has received mixed reactions amongst gamers, but mainly excitement and hype for it. This discerning feeling toward the Switch may be due to the schematics of the console as it lacks power compared to Sony’s Playstation 4, and Microsoft’s Xbox One. However, Nintendo’s willingness to innovate and do what the other companies won’t is what is captivating interest around the console. But something to think about, will hype and excitement lead to a flop that the last Nintendo console had? Or will it become another landmark console that Nintendo is known for making in the past 30 years.

nintendo-forgot-to-tell-us-that-the-switch-floats-in-15097845.pngOverhyping Jokes Against The Switch (WWE Reference)

The Nintendo Switch will be releasing on March 3, 2017 for $299 USD.

Sources:

http://www.polygon.com/2015/3/17/8230617/nintendos-new-hardware-the-nx

http://www.polygon.com/2016/10/20/13343104/nintendo-nx-reveal-switch

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/every-nintendo-switch-launch-game-confirmed-so-far/1100-6446924/

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